Sorry to interrupt...this will only take a moment.
This site is an independent reader-supported project.
Because you have viewed at least a few articles now...
Can you give a small donation to keep us online?
We can give you e-books and audiobooks and stuff.
This site is an independent reader-supported project.
The cost of keeping it running are considerable.
If you can spare a few dollars it would help us enormously.
We can give you e-books and audiobooks and stuff.
×
×
Experimental Feature

Select 'Atmospheric Audio' from the Audio menu to add subtle background audio to certain portions of the article.

Beware the Dangers of Oxygen

Article #276 • Written by Jason Bellows

There's a caustic substance common to our environment whose very presence turns iron into brittle rust, dramatically increases the risk of fire and explosion, and sometimes destroys the cells of the very organisms that depend on it for survival. This substance that makes up 21% of our atmosphere is Diatomic oxygen (O2), more widely know as just oxygen.

Of course, oxygen has its good points. Besides being necessary for respiration and the reliable combustion engine, it can be liquefied and used as rocket fuel. Oxygen is also widely used in the world of medicine as a means to imbue the body with a greater amount of the needed gas. But recent studies indicate that administering oxygen might be doing less good than hoped--and in fact be causing harm. No one is immune to the dangers of oxygen, but the people who might most suffer the ill effects are infants newly introduced to breathing, and those who are clinically dead.

There are a variety of injuries and ailments for which modern medicine dictates oxygen therapy. The common wisdom is that by filling the lungs with pure O2, one is pushing more of the vital gas into the blood, and thus to organs that are weakened and in need of support. It has also long been known that even at partial pressures, pure oxygen can be toxic--a fact with which scuba divers and astronauts are intimately familiar. Recent studies have indicated that the human body responds to pure oxygen, even at normal pressures, in a negative way.

Liquid Oxygen
Liquid Oxygen

When pure O2 is introduced to the lungs, autonomic reflex increases respiration. The increased rate of breathing means that a much larger load of carbon dioxide is released from the body, which causes the blood vessels to constrict. Despite the increased amount of available oxygen in the lungs, the circulatory system is hampered, and cannot deliver precious O2 as well as it could when breathing normal atmosphere.

Ronald Harper, a neurobiology professor at UCLA, conducted observations on a group of healthy teenagers breathing various gas mixes using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). His findings showed that in some subjects the pure O2 caused the brain to go clinically bonkers. Brain structures such as the hippocampus, the insula, and the cingulate cortex all displayed an adverse reaction; they in turn spurred the hypothalamus, the body's main regulatory gland, into a fervor. The hypothalamus regulates a myriad of things, including heart rate, body temperature, and is the master of a variety of other glands. The introduction of pure oxygen prompts the hypothalamus to flood the body with a cocktail of hormones and neurotransmitters which serve to hamper heart rate, and further reduce the circulatory system's effectiveness. But Harper also found that by adding a mere 5% CO2, all the detrimental effects found in pure oxygen are negated.

There are circumstances, however, where even the proper mix of gases would prove inadequate. Modern medicine has long taught that after respiration stops, the brain can only survive for six minutes without oxygen before its cells begin to die in droves. In order to combat this, standard procedure has been to aggressively attempt to restore breathing and heartbeat immediately upon cessation. The base premise on which this protocol is designed may be in error.

Programmed cell death
Programmed cell death

Upon examining heart cells and neurons deprived of oxygen under a microscope, Dr Lance Becker of the University of Pennsylvania found there was no indication that the cells were dying after five or six minutes. In fact, they seemed to endure the state for up to an hour without adverse affect. Given this unexpected observation, the researchers were forced to investigate why human resuscitation becomes impossible after only a few minutes of clinical death. The answer they uncovered was that the body's cells were not dying of oxygen starvation; they were expiring due to reperfusion--the sudden reintroduction of oxygen to a dormant cell.

Inside the cells, the culprit seems to be in the mitochondria, which is the cell's power plant where sugar and oxygen are converted to usable energy. Mitochondria are also responsible for apoptosis--the organized, controlled self-destruction of a cell. Normally apoptosis occurs in situations such as the cell being damaged beyond repair, infected by a virus, an attempt to prevent cancer, or aiding in initial tissue development. The process effectively kills and dismantles the cell allowing the body's usual waste management functions to carry the cell's remains away. For reasons not entirely clear, reperfusion triggers apoptosis--the oxygen intended to save the cell actually causes cellular suicide.

Armed with this new information about how cells react to oxygen, it is clear that current emergency care is not altogether ideal, and new protocols are under investigation. Dr Becker proposes that induced hypothermia may slow cell degradation, and if a means can be found to safely reintroduce oxygen to tissues, a clinically dead person--who still has trillions of living cells--could be resuscitated after being an hour dead.

This glorious future is still on the horizon, but to imagine the practical application leads one to ponder the multitude of accidents and injuries that are currently fatal, but will one day be treatable. Emergency Medical Personnel could arrive on the scene, and inject the patient with a slurry of ice and salt that lowers the body temperature to about 92° F. In a hypothermic state, the patient is hauled to the hospital, where instead of frantically trying to restart the heart, doctors patch up the problem, prevent apoptosis , and then restart the heart. Though it won't save everyone, these findings may lead to a future where a person made up of perfectly good human cells is not written off as dead merely because their heart has stopped beating. The miracle of modern medicine, it seems, is on the cusp of determining the true distinction between dead and mostly dead.

Article written by Jason Bellows, published on 11 June 2007. Jason is a contributing editor for DamnInteresting.com.

Article design and artwork by Alan Bellows. Edited by Alan Bellows.
SHARE

More Information
Related Articles


93 Comments
Cass
Posted 11 June 2007 at 04:52 pm

DI indeed! The interplay of that toxic O2 has always seemed interesting. I wonder how these new discoveries will affect people's opinions of those oxygen bars that seem to be cropping up...


Bolens
Posted 11 June 2007 at 04:53 pm

That makes me breath easier.


Asshe
Posted 11 June 2007 at 05:04 pm

Like the photo from the Princess Bride!


sciguyman
Posted 11 June 2007 at 05:07 pm

Hmm. Very Interesting. Damn Interesting one might even add. I find it goes back to the saying " everything is poisonous and nothing is poisonous, it is the dose that matters".


oldmancoyote
Posted 11 June 2007 at 05:18 pm

Speaking of oxygen bars, why would a person pay for what they can get for free?


Jeffrey93
Posted 11 June 2007 at 05:26 pm

This is the closest I have ever been and probably ever will be to First.

So......SIXTH!!


ti83
Posted 11 June 2007 at 05:50 pm

I feel you, Jeffrey93. Everybody beats me. Anyway, that is certainly DI. It reminds me of the movie Constantine, where the main character is dead for 3 minutes and goes to Hell for those 3 minutes.

This post is from a Christian, but let's not argue over religion (I don't want to waste my time trying to convince you of God, nor waste my time listening to you try to persuade me). Anyway, when is a person dead? I mean, could you really get to heaven then be pulled back? Next to heaven, I'm sure this Earth would be Hell. So a person coming back would hate it.

That's a dumb question, really. I mean, I'm sure the God I believe in can figure it out--but it is an interesting question (It also raises interesting questions about people raised from the dead in the Bible, like Lazarus. Wouldn't he hate being back? I can just imagine him saying, "aw man, why'd you raise me from the dead, I was in heaven?!").


Iusia
Posted 11 June 2007 at 06:01 pm

This just goes to show that the world is a very physical place, and that the normal connotations of death and such are inherently false. Ignorance is our only enemy.

DI to be sure.

On the note of 'back from the dead', my brother drowned when he was 5 or so, and he 'came back from the dead' quite happily and without serious consequence. (with the exception of this wonderful anecdote)
Basic biology has disparaged all my qualms regarding anything bordering religion, how wonderful modern science is.


Floj
Posted 11 June 2007 at 06:22 pm

Wow, as a Lifeguard they always taught us start CPR as soon as possible when we pull someone from the water. CPR doesn't usually wake them up though, it takes a shock from a AED or defibrillator to do that. I wonder what the cut off point would be to try CPR. If you find someone unconsious should you simply call 911 and wait? If they've been there for 10 minutes, perhaps (based on Harpers discovery) you'd be eliminating their chance of survival. hmmmm I guess pie will have to save the day then. Because cells love pie.

Damn Interesting for sure!


sweetness
Posted 11 June 2007 at 06:48 pm

We leared in EMS some time ago that people responded better to being ventilated by another human rather than a positive pressure devise>the postulation at that time was that the co2 in a persons breath might increase the insentaive to breath.

true love will vanquish all _Princess Bride forever


Old Man
Posted 11 June 2007 at 07:02 pm

My understanding of the resuscitation thing is this:

People can't be resuscitated after about 3 minutes because their cells die from the renewed supply (or surplus?) of oxygen. The inference is that after a certain unspecified time, but within 1 hour, it may be possible to safely reintroduce oxygen into the cells, provided other conditions don't make recovery impossible. So, if resuscitation isn't attempted initially, it may well be possible to resuscitate a person up to an hour later (more safely?), allowing an opportunity for other medical treatment to be carried out in the meanwhile.

Is that right? Or have I just completely missed the point?


Tink
Posted 11 June 2007 at 07:58 pm

ti83 said: "I feel you, Jeffrey93. Everybody beats me. Anyway, that is certainly DI. It reminds me of the movie Constantine, where the main character is dead for 3 minutes and goes to Hell for those 3 minutes.


This post is from a Christian, but let's not argue over religion (I don't want to waste my time trying to convince you of God, nor waste my time listening to you try to persuade me). Anyway, when is a person dead? I mean, could you really get to heaven then be pulled back? Next to heaven, I'm sure this Earth would be Hell. So a person coming back would hate it.

That's a dumb question, really. I mean, I'm sure the God I believe in can figure it out–but it is an interesting question (It also raises interesting questions about people raised from the dead in the Bible, like Lazarus. Wouldn't he hate being back? I can just imagine him saying, "aw man, why'd you raise me from the dead, I was in heaven?!")."

His sister warned Jesus, that "He stinketh". Can you immagine that? I am not sure but I don't think Lazerus was very happy with his return, either. Please don't get upset with my ignorance though, he may have been delighted, if not a wee bit embarrassed about the BO thing. LOL

Check out these sites my dear:

http://www.near-death.com/evidence.html

http://www.dannion.com/main.htm

DI! Jason, you have once again injected a breath of fresh air into DI! ;)
I can truley appreciate this article today having been gasping and coughing my toenails up for about two weeks now.

Not so long ago blindness in premees was thought to be caused by simple immaturity of the optic nerves, and then it was discovered that it was the oxygen rich incubators burning out their little eyes.

There was a story in Readers Digest recently (well, in the past year) of a new therapy useing a O2 saturated liquid to fill the lungs of preterm babes, literaly drowning them to life. Amazing ,huh?

"the pure O2 caused the brain to go clinically bonkers.

LOL, in all my studys, I've never heard this term used before. Your a wit like your Paw!


Falos
Posted 11 June 2007 at 08:08 pm

DI, give cells life and they take it as a sign to die, certainly makes it hard to tell 'em to come back.

Yay, Bride ref.


z
Posted 11 June 2007 at 09:46 pm

Whoa. This is indeed damn intresting! Although it makes me curious how were they able to safely research this on living (?) people.


Stead311
Posted 11 June 2007 at 11:02 pm

phenominal. who knew; once you thought you were performing and act of service... you really were destroying any chance of survival. things like this must be made aware quickly!!!!!


easterlingman
Posted 11 June 2007 at 11:07 pm

If people had control over their bodies there would be no anxiety about imminent death - it would simply be another part of life. This constant attempt and eradicating death reveals a profound insecurity about life.


ggnutsc
Posted 12 June 2007 at 12:14 am

As a CPR instructor and former EMT, I always wondered about the seemingly more robust viability of a drowning victim.... The discussions always centered around whether the water temperature made a difference, or if it was the water in the lungs etc.... And then there was always the cautionary statement that was given to us about giving large doses of O2 to a patient with COPD Chronic obstructive pumonary disease, ie Emphysema. That it would /could mess with the patient's respiratory drive.

It's amazing to me that after all of these years there are still discoveries like this still being made. Sometimes it seems that mankind has developed an egotistical attitiude that we know all that we need to know about the basic body systems. We have blown this kind of stuff off while money and time is spent on more profitable research on drugs.

Maybe the answer to saving more lives was right in front of us and all we had to do was dig a bit deeper.


Dr. Evil
Posted 12 June 2007 at 12:33 am

injecting liquid oxygen into the semi-dead persond body would cool it to hypothermic temperatures and give the cells the oxygen they need ;-)


Dr. Evil
Posted 12 June 2007 at 12:34 am

oh and i feel sorry for all here who rely on oxygen...i am happy enuff living off nitrogen...


Lisette
Posted 12 June 2007 at 01:55 am

Everytime there is an article posted here, I learn something new.

This site is DI forever!


ukskyman
Posted 12 June 2007 at 02:18 am

Stead311 said: "phenominal. who knew; once you thought you were performing and act of service… you really were destroying any chance of survival. things like this must be made aware quickly!!!!!"

No No No No!

Currently CPR is the way to go, DON'T leave people until the medics arrive if you know how to give life saving help. I think the point of the article is that in FUTURE when the scientists find a way to re-apply oxygen we MIGHT go with an alternative plan. For now - stick with the existing advise, it could kill somebody to do otherwise.

Re: the rest of the article, it seems the old saying is true - your not dead until your warm and dead!


SmarterChild
Posted 12 June 2007 at 03:20 am

DI, DO you think maybe this will lead to the end of the new Oxygen Bars?

ggnutsc said: "As a CPR instructor and former EMT, I always wondered about the seemingly more robust viability of a drowning victim…. The discussions always centered around whether the water temperature made a difference, or if it was the water in the lungs etc…. And then there was always the cautionary statement that was given to us about giving large doses of O2 to a patient with COPD Chronic obstructive pumonary disease, ie Emphysema. That it would /could mess with the patient's respiratory drive.

It's amazing to me that after all of these years there are still discoveries like this still being made. Sometimes it seems that mankind has developed an egotistical attitiude that we know all that we need to know about the basic body systems. We have blown this kind of stuff off while money and time is spent on more profitable research on drugs.

Maybe the answer to saving more lives was right in front of us and all we had to do was dig a bit deeper."

You have a good point, we (human society) seem to right off things as understood way to early we need to rethink how we decide what is understood.


Dave Group
Posted 12 June 2007 at 04:58 am

Great article! Schroedinger's Cat gives it two paws up. No . . . wait a minute, it's FOUR pa--- OH, NO! KITTY!!!!


errna
Posted 12 June 2007 at 05:19 am

a) "Ronald Harper, a neurobiology professor at UCLA, conducted observations on a group of healthy teenagers breathing various gas mixes using[...]" Umm, were they still healthy AFTER the tests?

b)

Jeffrey93 said: "This is the closest I have ever been and probably ever will be to First.

So……SIXTH!!"

I was FIRST once... :) Sitting in front of the computer 24/7 should help ;)

c) DI article once more, superb...


vallynmar
Posted 12 June 2007 at 05:58 am

Definitely Damn Interesting.

Am I the only one who sees a possible new way to deal with cancer? Obviously it would take figuring out but the possibility seems very valid (to me anyway).


mareneli
Posted 12 June 2007 at 05:59 am

Miracle Max is perfect for this DI article. Great job!


Merciless
Posted 12 June 2007 at 06:21 am

I was thinking the same thing about the healthy kids subjected to various gases. I wonder if the doctor knew which gases counteracted with each other in order to return them to a "normal" state. If the O2 was too much didn't the article say 5% of CO2 would negate the problem. I guess the question is then, what other gases where tested on the subjects?

I do think, as well, until furture proof is made and we know another method, CPR and such should continue. My friend went to jury duty last monday the fourth. While in the huge room with the other 300 or so people, he was talking to a fellow who collapsed on him. My friend, who is a trained EMT, saved his life doing what he was trained to do. He administered CPR and the court had an AEG. I guess until they carry "new medicine" and taught new methods, we'll just have to be content with what we know. Let us hope new ways are around the corner so more lives are saved.
Thank you Damn Interesting.


Evil Twin
Posted 12 June 2007 at 06:55 am

Once again, too much of a good thing is never good. Maybe the old rule of everything in moderation is what we should live by.

Got to love medical science though. This week too much oxygen is poisonous, next week who knows, maybe to much life? Guess I'll just go ahead and indulge in too much coffee this morning and maybe add a slice of pie for safe measure.


justapeon
Posted 12 June 2007 at 06:58 am

Well I can tell you from my experiences as a submariner that living in a low O2 environment for any period of time sucks the life out of you. We had a problem with our O2 generator and had to burn candles (not the birthday cake kind but those made of potasium superoxide) well our time out to sea was extended and we had to conserve candles so only the barest minimum were used. It got to the point where the only place you could keep a cigarette lit was near the candle station (the Capt was a smoker and would rather die than turn off the smoking lamp). I had a headache for over a month, what a good feeling it was when we could finally surface ventilate...


Stallion2.0
Posted 12 June 2007 at 07:35 am

I read Popular Science


Nicki the Heinous
Posted 12 June 2007 at 08:07 am

Damn that's interesting!

Are the people who climb Mount Everest using pure oxygen? If so, it would explain why so many people succumb to the altitude sickness and die. Perhaps an innovation for easier breathing for mountain climbers is on the way?


Ψ(rΘΦ)=R(r)Y(ΘΦ)
Posted 12 June 2007 at 09:15 am

Oxygen.....what a gas..........the weight of one gallon of liquified Oxygen is approximatly equal to two-thirds the volumetric comprise, less the weight of the container, weight of the displaced air, as well as, the diffusion principle ie. the associated differential equation.


Taphophile
Posted 12 June 2007 at 09:45 am

Who would think that a vital substance to our lives could be so dangerous? But then again, the dangers of a similar substance, Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO), have been ignored for years. Check out DHMO.org to get the scary truth.


Anskiere
Posted 12 June 2007 at 10:46 am

I actually recently read an article / watched a documentary about a premature birth who was at least blinded by the oxygen treatment he got when he was born. (He was also autistic but I can't remember if it was because of the same reason). He ended up a musical savant, which was interesting in itself...
Anyway, DI article as always =)


Glenn
Posted 12 June 2007 at 11:25 am

clinically bonkers

Jason, I love it when you talk technical. ;-)


EVERYTHINGZEN
Posted 12 June 2007 at 11:34 am

vallynmar said: "Definitely Damn Interesting.

Am I the only one who sees a possible new way to deal with cancer? Obviously it would take figuring out but the possibility seems very valid (to me anyway)."

Check out the archives here at DI for the viral treatment of cancer. I think it was last year, but they have actually found viruses to be very effective against cancer, and that not only are they effective in killing cancer cells but that unlike radiation they do not kill normal cells (of course these are tampered with before administered to make sure no good cells are harmed). It's VERY interesting new science.

As for the rest of the article, DI as always!! I would have never thought...and maybe as everyone else has pointed out that's part of the issue, we think we have something figured out and shelve it, just to find out later we figured wrong.

Though I do have one worry-the human population has quadrupled (or some ridiculous number like that) since the beginning of the 20th century. If they keep finding way to keep us alive, we will overpopulate and burn through every natural resource this planet has before we all die from starvation or something far worse. And then I think, maybe nature has tried to curb that growth with the abundance of cases of cancer and AIDS amongst other new diseases. The earth knows there's too many of us, we are killing it, and now it's fighting back??


J.K.
Posted 12 June 2007 at 11:59 am

Damn fine story there. Interesting to learn the body is built to take punishment and deprivation far more longer than assumed. This seems to kind of fall in line with the stories of stupid kids on ice, end up under for 45min, warmed up slowly and heart restarted and they come back from being long (almost) dead.

Speaking of 'almost dead' since that is billy crystal in that image there, would his career fall into that catagory now too? :)


agooga
Posted 12 June 2007 at 12:32 pm

" If they keep finding way to keep us alive, we will overpopulate and burn through every natural resource this planet "

No one's keeping you and your Gaia-guilt from offing yourself. Have at it.


davidw987
Posted 12 June 2007 at 12:45 pm

The explanation of apoptosis got me thinking. How can we induce apoptosis? A controlled culling of targeted cells would have applications from cancer treatment to weight loss. Think of the ability to kill the fat cells in that "spare tire" around the middle.


brienhopkins
Posted 12 June 2007 at 01:14 pm

I don't remember The Princess Bride so clearly. Did Billy Crystal revive someone?


EVERYTHINGZEN
Posted 12 June 2007 at 01:41 pm

agooga said: "" If they keep finding way to keep us alive, we will overpopulate and burn through every natural resource this planet "

No one's keeping you and your Gaia-guilt from offing yourself. Have at it."

That was very uncalled for.

I will never understand why people on here feel the need to attack other people's comments, it's very childish. To each his own; it's never too much trouble to be kind to others, and there's never a good reason to be hateful, regardless of how right you may think you are.

Choose your words more carefully, and "Beware the Danger" of saying hurtful things to others, things like that have a tendency to come back and haunt you, and a real tendency to hurt others...a life lesson, my gift to you. When you learn it the hard way it usually hurts, and I should think if you had already learned that, you wouldn't have made the comment you did. You can't take words back, consider them more carefully.


ExperimentNo6
Posted 12 June 2007 at 02:11 pm

To BrianHopkins;
Yeah he did, he revived Westley (the farm boy/dread pirate Roberts) after he gets the life tortured out of him by ... that guy... (little fuzzy here)


Nonesuch
Posted 12 June 2007 at 03:43 pm

Hello.. my name is Indigo Montoya... you are the man who resuscitated my father....prepare to DI..


just_dave
Posted 12 June 2007 at 07:14 pm

ExperimentNo6 said: "To BrianHopkins;

Yeah he did, he revived Westley (the farm boy/dread pirate Roberts) after he gets the life tortured out of him by … that guy… (little fuzzy here)"

He was tortured by Prince Humperdinck and his six-fingered evil henchman Count Tyrone Rugen. Also assisted by The Albino.

Anybody want a peanut?


Reilly
Posted 12 June 2007 at 09:18 pm

just_dave said: "Anybody want a peanut?"

No more rhymes now I meanit.

Fezek, is there rocks ahead?

I love that movie


Ahuva
Posted 13 June 2007 at 02:56 am

Nonesuch said: "Hello.. my name is Indigo Montoya… you are the man who resuscitated my father….prepare to DI.."

Hahahaha! I am never prepared for DI. They surprise me every time.


DWfromLA
Posted 13 June 2007 at 06:55 am

There was an interesting article in New Scientist in Feb referring to a very similar situation when mitochondria in cancer cells were re-introduced to O2, they killed off the cancerous cell. 100% hit rate.
The drug used to oxidize the cell was dichloroacetate.


viking62
Posted 13 June 2007 at 07:59 am

I was a Pramedic in the eighties & nineties. In my training, we were told the brain would begin to die after four minutes, not from lack of oxygen, but because the blood started to coagulate, & wouldn't flow any more.


robo
Posted 13 June 2007 at 08:20 am

vallynmar said: "Definitely Damn Interesting.

Am I the only one who sees a possible new way to deal with cancer? Obviously it would take figuring out but the possibility seems very valid (to me anyway)."

No. The way I read it, the cell commits suicide (apoptosis) to prevent being "assimilated" by the cancer cell.


Spike
Posted 13 June 2007 at 11:54 am

Jason, DI article. I also love the term "clinically bonkers". Talk technical to me, baby.

Just a thought though, is it possible that just a frequently certain vitamins need another compound to be effectively absorbed by the body, oxygen needs something else to take away the damaging side effects? Maybe that's why our atmosphere is proportioned the way it is and CPR is as effective as it is. It was interesting that even adding CO2 (considered toxic to our bodies) seemed to cancel out the dangerous oxygen effect. It is amazing how everything fits together.

Love the Princess Bride references. I feel "mostly dead" almost every morning until the liberal application of caffiene in the tasty form of coffee. Hmmmm, coffee


Nicki the Heinous
Posted 13 June 2007 at 12:21 pm

Taphophile said: "Who would think that a vital substance to our lives could be so dangerous? But then again, the dangers of a similar substance, Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO), have been ignored for years. Check out DHMO.org to get the scary truth."

lol I wonder if there are any people left who don't know that DHMO is water?


Nicki the Heinous
Posted 13 June 2007 at 12:27 pm

Spike said: "Love the Princess Bride references. I feel "mostly dead" almost every morning until the liberal application of caffiene in the tasty form of coffee. Hmmmm, coffee"

You should read Congo by Michael Crichton. It talks about how pygmy tribes describe people who are sick as varying degrees of dead. Someone who has a cold is a bit dead, a very sick person is very dead and so on.


agooga
Posted 13 June 2007 at 01:07 pm

"That was very uncalled for."

Your comments cranking up the old "human beings are a virus that will/should be wiped out by wise old Mother Earth" meme, are, in my opinion, uncalled for.

I am not a virus. The planet is not alive. If you feel that your existence is a burden to the planet, then you have my blessing to remove your burden from the back of tired old Mother Earth.

I have a higher opinion of my life (and the lives of all of my 6 billion co-inhabitants).


agooga
Posted 13 June 2007 at 01:16 pm

And by the way, I am (a little) sorry that you felt hurt by my words, but, my words are always chosen carefully, and I did, in fact, intend to stick a little pin into your soft, liberal, touchy-feely universe.

I guess I'm just an old meany ;-).


EVERYTHINGZEN
Posted 13 June 2007 at 04:36 pm

Well I never said they "should" be wiped out or that we are a virus, I didn't mean to make that impression, but that there are becoming too many of us, and if that path continues by keeping everyone alive longer and longer, don't you think we might run out of space on the earth, resources to use? Or do you think we are just so smart we may find a way to make it past anything we as humans burn up? Screw trees, who needs em, right? Certainly not the ecosystem, us humans, we are smart, we will figure something out! (yes this is me being facetious). If the depletion of the ozone keeps up, the environment here will become such that it is uninhabitable. That is partly, if not all, the fault of humanity, and you can deny that all you wish but it doesn't make it less true. Viruses couldn't make it better...we as humans could, but for the most we do little to help the situation.

I hate to break it to you, but we will be wiped out, eventually no matter what. The sun is simply a ball of fusion with only a limited amount of fuel to burn. It will eventually turn into a red giant and pummel the first few planets nearest to it as it swells (including us, this is science fact ) and then explode and wipe out this galaxy. Now hopefully, in the 5 billion years that takes to happen (and assuming an asteroid or gamma ray burst or some other catastrophe doesn't take us out first) we will find a way off this rock and on to another that is habitable, but either way you cut it chief, this planet was doomed from the beginning. It's nothing to do with viruses...simply the nature of the way things are, but overpopulating, no one dying, and burning up all the resources we have is only going to make the end come sooner.

You are a big old meany. At least you admit it though.


st33med
Posted 13 June 2007 at 06:10 pm

ti83 said: "I feel you, Jeffrey93. Everybody beats me. Anyway, that is certainly DI. It reminds me of the movie Constantine, where the main character is dead for 3 minutes and goes to Hell for those 3 minutes.

This post is from a Christian, but let's not argue over religion (I don't want to waste my time trying to convince you of God, nor waste my time listening to you try to persuade me). Anyway, when is a person dead? I mean, could you really get to heaven then be pulled back? Next to heaven, I'm sure this Earth would be Hell. So a person coming back would hate it.

That's a dumb question, really. I mean, I'm sure the God I believe in can figure it out–but it is an interesting question (It also raises interesting questions about people raised from the dead in the Bible, like Lazarus. Wouldn't he hate being back? I can just imagine him saying, "aw man, why'd you raise me from the dead, I was in heaven?!")."

Officially, he probably is "brain dead", meaning he could be watching his body from above, wondering why they are putting him in a body bag.


Silverhill
Posted 13 June 2007 at 11:47 pm

EVERYTHINGZEN said: "[The Sun] will eventually turn into a red giant and pummel the first few planets nearest to it as it swells (including us, this is science fact ) and then explode and wipe out this galaxy."

Be careful, there. First, Sol will not explode--it's not massive enough to go supernova. Second, there is nothing in this universe that is powerful enough to wipe out a galaxy. Galaxies can be torn asunder by gravitational interaction with each other, but it's a slow process; and the individual stars (with possibly a few exceptions) are not harmed.


kwiksand
Posted 14 June 2007 at 05:36 am

Nicki the Heinous said: "lol I wonder if there are any people left who don't know that DHMO is water?"

"lol", I was wondering who was going to be the first point out the bleeding obvious!


EVERYTHINGZEN
Posted 14 June 2007 at 07:04 am

Silverhill said: "Be careful, there. First, Sol will not explode–it's not massive enough to go supernova. Second, there is nothing in this universe that is powerful enough to wipe out a galaxy. Galaxies can be torn asunder by gravitational interaction with each other, but it's a slow process; and the individual stars (with possibly a few exceptions) are not harmed."

May very well be, I love stuff like that, there's a series on the History Channel on Tuesday night called "The Universe", they were talking about all that this last couple weeks. It may not explode, as you say (the gamma ray bursts, supernova's, are some 10,000 times bigger than our Sun), but it will expand and the earth will get so hot it will pretty much melt and turn into a big ball of lava before it's ripped apart completely. The animation was pretty awesome, but of course painted a grim picture. Good thing none of us will be around to witness it....

Hey guys and gals of DI, there's an interesting article thought for you! Sorry I got so for off subject, I really don't like it when people do that. I should be shamed, I apologize.


Bolens
Posted 14 June 2007 at 01:29 pm

EVERYTHINGZEN said: "You are a big old meany. "

That was very uncalled for.

I will never understand why people on here feel the need to attack other people's comments, it's very childish.


EVERYTHINGZEN
Posted 14 June 2007 at 02:19 pm

Whatever, you can't fault me for something he said about himself.


silent_tone
Posted 14 June 2007 at 03:06 pm

I've read a similar article before, it must have been somewhere else. But in that article it described some trials for some method of the gradual re-introduction of oxygen and their survival rate increased something like 4-fold from traditional CPR.


Zamemee
Posted 14 June 2007 at 05:47 pm

Silverhill said: " Second, there is nothing in this universe that is powerful enough to wipe out a galaxy. "

Actually, that's not entirely accurate. If a galaxy with a super massive black hole in the center collides with another galaxy it can consume that second galaxy.


ballaerina
Posted 14 June 2007 at 08:54 pm

Wow. This article completely opened my eyes. Thank you.


Touchy
Posted 15 June 2007 at 03:13 pm

Yes! A sci-fi explanation for that scene in the Princesses Bride!

Can't wait to see the anti-reperfusion drug they come out with. "The choclate makes it go down easier."


timtimes
Posted 15 June 2007 at 04:20 pm

If people had control over their bodies there would be no anxiety about imminent death - it would simply be another part of life. This constant attempt and eradicating death reveals a profound insecurity about life.
-------------

I'm not sure about the first statement, but I agree 100 percent with the last one. It's part of what makes western religions so appealing to folks.

Enjoy.


Emmy
Posted 15 June 2007 at 09:25 pm

Damn interesting!!!

This makes a lot of sense and I learned a lot of stuff about the brain! Thanks Jason! ^-^


Sulevis
Posted 16 June 2007 at 08:02 am

Very interesting. Cheers for the optimistic ending, I love hearing about advances in medicine!


jarvisloop
Posted 17 June 2007 at 05:59 am

"The truth is lethal; our lies keep us alive" - JL


klone
Posted 18 June 2007 at 12:27 am

i gotta say it...

"have fun stormin' the castle!"


blurrzy
Posted 18 June 2007 at 01:41 am

DI.
I agree with whoever said it earlier, about overpopulation.
I'm all about medical advancement, but if we can cure everything and people start living twice as long, that'll be no good.


Herrozerro
Posted 18 June 2007 at 01:56 pm

ti83 said: "I feel you, Jeffrey93. Everybody beats me. Anyway, that is certainly DI. It reminds me of the movie Constantine, where the main character is dead for 3 minutes and goes to Hell for those 3 minutes.

This post is from a Christian, but let's not argue over religion (I don't want to waste my time trying to convince you of God, nor waste my time listening to you try to persuade me). Anyway, when is a person dead? I mean, could you really get to heaven then be pulled back? Next to heaven, I'm sure this Earth would be Hell. So a person coming back would hate it.

That's a dumb question, really. I mean, I'm sure the God I believe in can figure it out–but it is an interesting question (It also raises interesting questions about people raised from the dead in the Bible, like Lazarus. Wouldn't he hate being back? I can just imagine him saying, "aw man, why'd you raise me from the dead, I was in heaven?!")."

While there is some stories of people visiting heaven or hell during NDE (Near Death Experiences) or even after being dead, there is still no proof about what measures death. This is coming from another Christian as well. Death is a mystery, in the article itself it says that even clinically dead people still have trillions of living cells... Does death mean total dead cells or cessation of consciousness?


Diegost
Posted 19 June 2007 at 03:20 pm

This seems interesting indeed but quite incomplete. Sure, the programed cellular death thing sure covers the issue with the oxygen but body cells also require other important substances (such as glucose) which are transported via blood and maintain everything working.
Perhaps its too soon to ask for a full paper article of this validated by a team of experts but since they're claiming "probably all this years medicine has been wrong" I think ppl should take this a little less seriously. thre have been many claims of that sort and most of us know where they end ¬¬


Tink
Posted 20 June 2007 at 11:26 am

viking62 said: "I was a Pramedic in the eighties & nineties. In my training, we were told the brain would begin to die after four minutes, not from lack of oxygen, but because the blood started to coagulate, & wouldn't flow any more."

THATs Damned Interesting! Never heard that before!


Cobaltbluemoon
Posted 20 June 2007 at 11:36 am

After reading the article, I wondered how long it would take for the amateur biblical scholars to comment on the hour o' death and being snatched back from heaven/hell. Jewish custom was that the soul didn't leave the body for 3 days. That was why it was such a big deal for Lazarus/Jesus to come back after their souls would have departed. Course, they also didn't really believe in hell until it was invented in the new test. (wages of sin is death(sheol-hollow place/grave), not death and eternal fiery pitchforking).

So...if (incredibly large print if) the bible is the infallable word of god... we may well be able to bring people back days after they've been dead. I bet that would be one awesome nap.


Tink
Posted 20 June 2007 at 11:49 am

Comment #55 (June 13th, 2007 at 4:36 pm)

EVERYTHINGZEN says:

said: "Well I never said they "should" be wiped out or that we are a virus, I didn't mean to make that impression, but that there are becoming too many of us,... and if that path continues by keeping everyone alive longer and longer, don't you think we might run out of space on the earth, resources to use?

Sweetheart, you do not need to worry about this.

When and if this old world ends, we all will be long gone. It will not die of pollution, or over population, if the world (meaning the globe itself)is ended (as we know it)it will be damaged by something bigger than even a nuclear war could produce.

One of the biggest lies and fears in the world today is that "there is not enough".

There is plenty, it's just not distributed in a fair way.

Mother Earth will wipe out species and replace them with new ones, (Read the science pages, new creatures are being found every day).

Granted, some humans may be on this future list; makes you wonder how differant our great[x10] grandkids, will be compared to us, Homo-Sapiens.

Now, go plant a tree, and recycle some newspapers, it will make you feel better, and don't forget to get a flu shot. ;-)


Hoekstes
Posted 21 June 2007 at 08:17 am

Ψ(rΘΦ)=R(r)Y(ΘΦ) said: "Oxygen…..what a gas……….the weight of one gallon of liquified Oxygen is approximatly equal to two-thirds the volumetric comprise, less the weight of the container, weight of the displaced air, as well as, the diffusion principle ie. the associated differential equation."

Really really interesting. I only wish I could figure out what your name means.


HiEv
Posted 23 June 2007 at 05:16 am

ti83 said: "This post is from a Christian, but let's not argue over religion (I don't want to waste my time trying to convince you of God, nor waste my time listening to you try to persuade me). Anyway, when is a person dead? I mean, could you really get to heaven then be pulled back? Next to heaven, I'm sure this Earth would be Hell. So a person coming back would hate it."

You might want to try finding out about some of the people who already have died and been brought back to life. The vast majority of them don't "hate it" and were/are happy to be alive.


Mez
Posted 30 June 2007 at 06:37 am

I'm interested to know more about the experiment involving healthy teenagers breathing various possibly toxic gases; particularly, how it got past the ethics committee.


Meathammer
Posted 17 July 2007 at 11:08 pm

No no, he clearly said, "To Blaathe", which means to cheat. He was probably playing a card game and he was cheating.

LIAR!

Great flick, and great article. Never start a land war in asia, never challenge a Sicilian when death is on the line and never huff prue oxygen. Kittens, on the other hand,...


dacoobob
Posted 21 November 2007 at 01:50 am

This article reminds me of the spoof MSDS on "dihydrogen monoxide" (aka "water") that's been floating around the internet for years. ANYTHING is toxic in large enough quanities/concentrations.


Yardvark
Posted 28 December 2007 at 11:51 am

ti83 said: "This post is from a Christian, but let's not argue over religion I mean, could you really get to heaven then be pulled back? Next to heaven, I'm sure this Earth would be Hell. So a person coming back would hate it.

That's a dumb question, really. I mean, I'm sure the God I believe in can figure it out–but it is an interesting question (It also raises interesting questions about people raised from the dead in the Bible, like Lazarus. Wouldn't he hate being back? I can just imagine him saying, "aw man, why'd you raise me from the dead, I was in heaven?!")."

Just FYI, these are protestant notions and as such, are incorrect. Most people aren't going to heaven but most of those who do will go to purgatory first. Just so you know.


Claudia
Posted 09 January 2008 at 06:57 am

Hang on, isn't there an obvious point that has been missed? What about the BRAIN? If a patient is clinically dead, won't many brain cells die and parts of the brain be irreversibly damaged, due to lack of circulation when the heart stops? Other organs can work all they want, but if a person is brain dead, that's pretty useless, or do I have a completely mistaken concept on how the body works?


Claudia
Posted 10 January 2008 at 06:42 am

And... 84th!!!


Alx_xlA
Posted 26 January 2008 at 08:47 pm

Dr. Evil said: "oh and i feel sorry for all here who rely on oxygen...i am happy enuff living off nitrogen..."

Nitrogen is for weenies. Give me acid dichloride

ukskyman said: "Re: the rest of the article, it seems the old saying is true - your not dead until your warm and dead!"

Isn't the saying, "No one should be cold and dead until they are warm and dead?"

Nicki the Heinous said: "Are the people who climb Mount Everest using pure oxygen? If so, it would explain why so many people succumb to the altitude sickness and die. Perhaps an innovation for easier breathing for mountain climbers is on the way?"

Actually, altitude sickness is caused by not getting enough oxygen as a result of the reduced atmospheric pressure at high altitude.

kwiksand said: ""lol", I was wondering who was going to be the first point out the bleeding obvious!"

I just assumed that no one pointed it out because no one thought they needed to.

Claudia said: "Hang on, isn't there an obvious point that has been missed? What about the BRAIN? If a patient is clinically dead, won't many brain cells die and parts of the brain be irreversibly damaged, due to lack of circulation when the heart stops?"

They aren't really going to die THAT quickly, and anyway, what's a few million neurons (or croutons) when I've got a billion more to spare?


Brownlee
Posted 22 May 2008 at 09:48 pm

In reply to Tink and all of the others who are ranting about the enviroment:
Think about this; the survival of species is very fickle. According to Bill Bryson, author of A Short History of Nearly Everything, the commonly accepted estimate is that the earth has produced about 30 billion species [it has been put as high as 4 trillion by some sources]. If I remember right, about 99.99% of all species are extinct. So next time someone cries out about 'saving the whales' and such, think this: in the overall sense, what does it matter if a few species die off. It's called natural selection, survival of the fittest.

Cheers ~Brownlee


DontPanic
Posted 05 June 2008 at 03:14 am

Brownlee said: " So next time someone cries out about 'saving the whales' and such, think this: in the overall sense, what does it matter if a few species die off. It's called natural selection, survival of the fittest. "

SAVE THE WHALES!


Mirage_GSM
Posted 27 October 2008 at 05:52 am

So, this artivle being more than a year old now, does anyone know if there are any new developments on the topic?
The Newsweek link doesn't work anymore, and I wasn't able to find anything else on the net.
So was this a faulty experiment that was published prematurely, or is the matter still under investigation?


dini95
Posted 09 January 2009 at 12:20 am

SAVE THE WHALES!!!! I like whales......

89th!!!


johnb3491
Posted 31 March 2010 at 05:11 pm

oldmancoyote said: "Speaking of oxygen bars, why would a person pay for what they can get for free?"

That is what we said in the sixties about bottled water in stores.


Neale Pickett
Posted 27 March 2014 at 12:03 pm

Damn prescient, Jason.

7 years later, a hospital is about to begin attempting almost the very technique you suggest at the end: replacing the patient's blood—all of it—with cooled saline, to give surgeons enough time to repair otherwise lethal structural damage.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg22129623.000-gunshot-victims-to-be-suspended-between-life-and-death.html


Centurion
Posted 07 October 2014 at 04:07 am

Hi!
i hope that after all this time, someone will give me an answer.. article is great, but i still have a few questions.. what if you did not breathe pure oxygen but air with more oxygen in it than it´s now.. for example if earth start to produce more oxygen a we started to breathe it.. what we be longer awake a more hyperactive or something, or quicker thinking or it would same as now (cause in article was written that that Doc added 5% of Co2 into oxygen and all side effects disappeared)
what if you where astronaut on ISS and you´ve been there few year and here it would just all change and he came back, it would be affecting him? (it´s just example, for you to understand what im trying to ask)

it would be great if you knew answer or knew someone who would know that or some forum where could i ask that and get an anwer

thanks!

PS: sorry if it´s chaotic.. im writing it in a big rush and english is not even my primar language :D


Centurion
Posted 07 October 2014 at 04:12 am

Centurion said: "what we be longer awake a more hyperactive "

EDIT: *would we be longer awake ........

(sorry xD )


END OF COMMENTS
Add Your Comment

Note: Your email address will not be published, shared, spammed, or otherwise mishandled. Anonymous comments are more likely to be held for moderation. You can optionally register or login.

You may use basic formatting HTML such as <i>, <b>, and <blockquote>.